The Line of Least Resistance
Research has shown that many of the typical methods for queueing customers are incredibly inefficient . Many businesses choose to use reservation systems, for many reasons, such as space limitations in their waiting areas, preparation for large parties, and because the first-come, first-serve process is proven to be inefficient. We aim to create a mobile app that customers of a theoretical business (tourist attraction, restaurant, etc.) can download and input their name and party size, and receive a time to arrive in order to be attended to. The goal is to minimize delay time/maximize predictability because restaurants, tourist attractions, etc. are meant to be enjoyable, and being given an accurate wait time contributes towards a pleasant experience.
- Devon Essick
- Andrew Sweren
- Kjartan Brownell (TA)
Note: Each objective depends on the success of the previous one and proximity to the demo.
- Create a "consulting" application that accurately suggests how to most efficiently (in terms of minimal delay time) set up time slots/queues on a given day at a tourist attraction. The app will have space to select or type in various data pertinent to their system (e.g. weather conditions, average number of customers, minimum time between slots) and will output suggestions for how to set-up for the day (e.g. how far to space time slots, how many staff members to have, estimated time until boarding). It is meant to be used by employees at the beginning of the day and will run on a computer app with an intuitive user interface for those who may not be tech-savvy. We will determine the outputs based on a model obtained through MATLAB simulation software. We will determine which type of model after research.
- Expand the application to be able to make suggestions based on real time data (e.g. delay caused by security lines being understaffed).
- Expand application to be able to solve problems other than minimizing delay time (e.g. minimizing wait time).
- Expand the application in order to be useful to other companies that aim to minimize delay time (not just tourist attractions).
- Expand the application to introduce an "express lane" option when purchased online.
- Learning how to create a mobile app
- Coding the system that determines when a customer should return
- Creating an approachable and intuitive mobile app user interface for people with no experience to use
- Making sure we take into account important inputs about a given business so that the recommendations are realistic (e.g. understanding even if there are 2 two-person slots available at a given time, a group of four will not split up)
- Taking into account that even if there is a reservation system in place, people are bound to still show up unannounced, and what the impact on the business could be to turn them away
- Accounting for changes disrupting the way the business operates (e.g. making the business only accessible by reservations could change the type of customers)
- Limitations due to security and safety concerns (e.g. eliminating security lines could diminish delay time, but at what cost?)
- Monitor and peripherals for demo (available from Urbauer 015) - $0
- Coding software (provided by school) - $0